Those pesky bloggers also missed five minutes of unfinished footage, conceptual drawings and models. I'm not necessarily a fan, but this stuff looks wicked cool.
Penguin Fever: Catch It ... CATCH IT!!!
Have movie studios dramatically over-estimated the enduring appeal of penguins in wake of the "March of the Penguins" box office? While Bob Saget's "Farce of the Penguins" isn't being presented at Comic-Con, Thursday afternoon saw both Sony and Warner Bros. present dueling computer animated flicks about plucky misunderstood penguins.
Receiving the most hype thus far is the Warner Bros. comedy "Happy Feet," which has the advantage of bigger vocal talent -- Elijah Wood plus more of Robin Williams' patented ethnical caricatures -- and an obviously higher budget. The studio presented the trailer and several additional scenes which confirm an early suspicion -- penguins dancing to popular music are invariably cute, but will there enough story to carry an entire movie? Oh who cares? Cute dancing penguins!!!!
Sony's "Surf's Up," about a penguin who yearns to surf, actually looked far superior, at least in the early scenes screened for audiences. The computer animation obviously isn't on the same level as "Happy Feet," but the project appears to be shot in a mockumentary/behind-the-music structure that may help it live up to producer Chris Jenkins' contention that "It's not just another penguin surfing movie, it's not just another animated movie." Then again, none of the clips showed the character allegedly voiced by Jon Heder, who has the ability to single-handedly turn me off of any film at this point.
Enough About 'Flyboys' ... Bring on the 'Stargate' Sequels
There's a hilarious story to be told about my exploding tire in the carpool lane on the 405, but the only important thing is that I made it to the day's first movie's session which was, naturally enough, for World War I film "Flyboys," which made an appearance because of producer Dean Devlin.
"This convention in particular and sci-fi conventions in general have been incredibly supportive of my films," the "Godzilla" and "Independence Day" producer tells the somewhat bewildered crowd.
In addition to screening two different versions of the trailer -- one rousingly nostalgic and the other exhaustingly action-heavy -- the "Flyboys" panel included one of several dogfight scenes in the movie, a well-executed sequence that seemed to showcase top-of-the-line effects as well as a resolutely old-fashioned sensibility.
But enough about that. The Q&A very quickly turned to how much people love Dean Devlin, particularly that "Stargate" thing. Apparently, Devlin also still pines for the movie that was supposed to be the beginning of a trilogy, but has instead spawned an unkillable SciFi Channel franchise. The "Who Killed the Electric Car?" producer mentioned that under his new deal with MGM, he's hoping to get moving on a "Stargate" sequel in the near future. He said that the sequel would pick up where the first film ended, rather than messing with the entrenched "Stargate: SG:1" mythology.
"I don't think it will step on its toes," Devlin says.